Just the other day I posted this post about how I couldn't get my head around racing this past weekend. In all reality, up until the start I was still having a hard time wrapping my head around it but we will get back to that in a minute.
In an attempt to make the day's 8K fun I decided to run this race as a Runchat ambassador and pulled out my temporary tattoos that they sent. I love dedicating a race to something/someone even if only I know it. But in this case, I shared my dedication and put of sign of it on my leg, and darling daughter's arm. After all, how can a Mom put on a temporary tattoo and not involve her five year old daughter in the craziness?
As dear hubby and I headed to the race start I tried to fill him in as much as I knew about the new race course. It took like two nanoseconds since I knew very little;
therefore, I was more than happy to listen to them go over the course
for me again. Okay, got it. Run uphill, run downhill, run back (kinda flat), and make a loop around the grassy field. Fun! Turns are marked. Awesome! Since there is no way on Earth I will remember those street names the lady initially told me.
I did one last bathroom break and then drank up my sprint bottle of VegaSport Hydrator. It wasn't hot anymore and I didn't want/need to carry a small drink. It was only 8K and there would be one water station....at the top of the hill or mile 1.5. I would be fine. Dear hubby on the other hand grabbed his full sized Nathan water bottle with Gatorade.
With a ready, go we took off. Yes, it was that quick of a start. I had a plan. Okay, not really but kinda. Don't go too crazy in the first 1.5 miles uphill and then run back to
the start. Told you it wasn't the best laid plan. In fact, right before
we started I told dear hubby it was just a training run for me today. I
did have hopes of running long the next day to get my weekly mileage to
where I wanted it to be. (umm...that didn't happen)
But something happened. Perhaps it was that #runchat tattoo but the desire to race well began swelling up inside of me. Perhaps it was my desire to prove that I could achieve my goals and reconfirm that #iwill break a 4:20 marathon. That first couple hundred of meters or so before we turned to start our ascent went by quickly. Right after the turn a lady in front of me started to walk. I told myself slow and steady up the hill and began passing runners one by one. After awhile I realized I was passing some runners that are at a competitive pace with me. I checked in on how I was feeling. I was breathing hard but hey, I was running uphill. I maintained my pace and wanted to pass a few more runners to get into a good placement before the race changed. I can run uphill. I train for this. Remember all those runs on the incline treadmill? It pays off on days like this. Before I knew it one mile was done. My split was 9'09".
I can't remember exactly where but I think it may have been after the one mile mark that I passed D & B, two ladies I know and who run well. At that time, I didn't know that that particular pass put me in place as the second female. I wasn't paying that close of attention to how many ladies were before me when I started and how many I passed. Can anyone do that? At the top of the hill the water station was manned by a familiar face and a nice reminder, "breath through your nose!". Gotta love runner support! I skipped getting anything at the station but took the advice and a few calming breaths through my nose as I began the descent. I started tentatively wondering how my legs, in particular my IT bands, would hold up with the force of the decent. Just the Sunday before my legs had complained a bit on a lesser descent. In that transition D & B passed me. They were both running stong and pretty much neck to neck. B later told me she was trying to hang onto D. I picked up my pace but they got out of my sight with all the curves and bends.
Two miles done and still descending and my split was 8'32". I had confidence in my legs. Two more ladies passed me slightly spaced apart. One was half my age, she was the second to pass, and I tried not to get too bothered. After all, she was half my age, right? But I raced after her and my third split was 6'51". This was my fastest mile in the race and I am shocked that I broke a 7 minute mile. Running downhill I felt fast and strong. I had to ease a bit to make the sharp left hand turn back onto the highway where things were flat until the end. The thing is, flat on Maui doesn't equal Texas flat. Yes, it was flatter but there was still a bit of uphill and downhill. I used those slight downhills as mental recoveries. And I got a mental uplift when my dear friends with darling daughter cruised by in the car and honked. It was nice to hear that beep and know they were on the way to the end to meet me.
I was beginning to feel my effort and if I knew I just broke a 7 minute mile I am sure it would have made better sense. I may have freaked out though. I still pushed myself and told myself to maintain my pace and position but I could also see I was getting closer to those runners in front of me. I pushed but tried not to crazy push and passed those two ladies who last passed me. At the time I had passed the second lady four miles were completed and my split was 7'28". Yes, slowing down but hey, I wasn't running downhill either and I am not complaining about that pace for me.
I could see D & B ahead of me and as much as I wanted to pass them they seemed so far away. I kept pushing and passed my final person, a guy, with only minutes left in the
race. I was determined to maintain my position and fortunately I didn't
have to test to see if I had any hidden reserves as no one started to
pass me allowing me to finish under my own plan. Run, run, run. Oh yeah,
and don't throw up. I did feel physically ill but ran on around the
grassy field (yuck), made the final turn to the finish, saw the clock, and tried to put in whatever I had left telling myself not to get sick as I finished. I also saw that I broke 40 minutes and was amazed and proud. My final split was about 7'18".
In terms of placement, I was the fourth female and was just seconds behind D & B. My time was 39'18", B was 39'05", and D was 39'04". Not too far off. The top female is an amzing young lady and she is fast! Her time was 37'31". And I was the first female in the Open Division and am happy. Yes, it was a small race but it still means A LOT to me.
Dear hubby was the 8th male and placed third in the Master's Division. His time was 35'57".
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful that I can pick darling daughter up from school.
Daily Affirmation: I am a runner.